Obama indicates decision on oil pipeline will be his
November 2nd, 2011
10:23 AM ET

Obama indicates decision on oil pipeline will be his

(CNN) - President Obama is implying he may personally weigh in on whether to allow construction of a 1,700 mile oil pipeline which is at the center of a bitter environmental battle.

The Keystone XL pipeline, which would stretch from Alberta, Canada, through Texas, pits the promise of jobs and an economic shot in the arm against opponents who say it threatens to poison groundwater resources across the Heartland. Pipeline operator TransCanada insists it will include safeguards to protect people and property.

During an interview Tuesday with CNN's Omaha, Nebraska, affiliate KETV, Obama implied for the first time that he would personally contribute to the decision whether to green-light the project.

"Folks in Nebraska, like folks all across the country, aren't going to say to themselves, 'We're going to take a few thousand jobs if it means our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health," Obama told KETV."When somebody gets sick, that's a cost that society has to bear as well. So these are all things that you have to take a look at when you make these decisions."

"There's a way of doing that and making sure the health and safety of the people of Nebraska are protected," said the president. "And that's how I'll be measuring these recommendations when they come to me."

Until now, Obama and the White House have been saying the final decision on Keystone XL would be up to officials at the State Department, following an environmental impact analysis and a public commenting period. Environmentalists have been insisting that the decision is up to Obama himself, because he heads the administration. They've been calling on the president to block construction as part of his 2008 campaign promise to move the country away from polluting fossil fuels.

"This is a step in the right direction and I'm encouraged to see President Obama take full ownership on this issue," said Courtney Hight, an environmental activist who formerly worked for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "But for all of us, outright rejection of the pipeline is going to be key. He talks about protecting public health and that's what we do on a daily basis, so it's encouraging to see that."

Just a day before Obama's comments, White House spokesman Jay Carney continued to hold the administration line that Obama would not make the decision personally. "... this is a decision that will be made by the State Department, or is housed within the State Department," Carney said during Monday's press gaggle.

Several wealthy Democratic donors said last week their support for Obama's 2012 campaign will be tied to the administration's decision about Keystone.

A final decision on the pipeline is expected by the end of the year.

In August, the State Department said a federal analysis of the project showed there "would be no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed pipeline corridor."

More than 1,200 demonstrators were arrested last summer during a sit-in protest outside the White House.

Pipeline opponents plan to return to Washington on Sunday, when environmental groups plan to form a human circle around the White House.


Topics: President Obama

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soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Lefty

    He has to support this or he'll be run out of town.

    November 2, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • iamthefredman

      The XL pipeline MUST be built and the sooner, the better. However, Obama will say NO to it so he doesn't piss off one more group (the treehuggers) that supported his election in 2008. He will do whatever helps him get re-elected. Screw America. He wants completet control. It is legally NOT his decision and Congress can approve this deal.

      November 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
      • green revolution

        @iamthefredman..... Why must the pipeline be built? How about this instead... You must buy an electric car, and you must put solar panels on your house to charge your car! You must think of the generations of Americans to come that have not been born yet. You must think about the long term sustainability of our nation. In 200 years will our country still be building pipelines that contribute to climate change, or will we have evolved to cleaner technology that leaves the world a better place for those yet to be born into it?

        November 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Brian in DCq

      Don't underestimate his ideology. He hitched his wagon to the black hole of money pits called "green technology".

      November 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
      • Russell Brown

        The operative assumption is that someone ,has a
        better idea and the operative complusion is to find out who,
        has that better idea ,learn it put it into action fast

        November 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The BIG question I have.......is why do we have to pipeline oil to refineries on the gulf, when it would likely be more practical to build a shorter pipeline, and build a refinery somewhere up along the Canadian border, like in North Dakota, where they are already drilling for oil??????

    Looks to me, like people are NOT using their heads, at all.

    November 2, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Tim

      Because of the EPA and other regulations make it cost prohibitive.

      November 2, 2011 at 11:56 am |
      • William

        No, is because oil company's have profit magins that make it cost prohibitive.

        November 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
      • 40acres

        Don't think so Tim, the regulations to build a refinery (or two or three) in North Dakota would be far less cumbersome than crossing several state lines, crossing several protected sole source drinking water aquifers and the inevitable smaller scale wetlands, rivers, streams etc. that would be necessary to transverse the entire country. You should know the only reason they want that pipeline to go to the gulf is to get the oil to port so they can sell it on the world market.

        November 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Debbie

      Agree. Obama will sign it to try and gain political ground. Have you seen him use his head yet?

      November 2, 2011 at 11:58 am |
      • really???

        How would signing it gain him political ground? If he signs he loses voters, if he doesn't sign he loses voters. It is amazing to me how none of you have anything positive to say, either be a part of the solution or part of the problem, and what you say most of the time contradicts itself. This is a hairy situation to be in, and none of us would want to be in his shoes no matter what decision he makes he will offend someone. But if he were to just sit back and avoid conflict and hard decisions he would be a "do nothing" president, yet another contadictory statement just waiting to be made.

        November 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
      • Ann Marie

        All the time Deb..Where's the head on your Rethugs?

        November 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • John in Olympia

        Obama will do what is always trying to do, find middle ground. He won't reject it outright because he want the jobs, he doesn't want China getting the oil, and he doesn't want to diss Canada. But he will insist upon additional protections for the environment, especially the midwest aquifers, something Keystone has already agreed to do. So the environmentalists won't be happy, but what are they gonna do? Vote GOP?

        November 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
      • Buck Ofama

        Well said Debbie. I've yet to see him use his head unless it was for a new vacationing idea. He is the biggest loser to sit in the White House to date...

        November 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
      • GRofPA

        Dear Buckoff, it is really funny to hear a republican complain about a president taking vacation after your own hero, W, spent 85% of his presedency cuttin brush on the crawford ranch. ROTFL LMAO Thanks for the chuckle!

        November 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
      • Bill

        Yes, Pres Obama uses his head & his brain everyday – something you could only do if you could visit the Wizard of Oz.

        November 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
      • wesjust

        He will sign, knowing the EPA will block it. What i do know understand is if oil is so evil why did we just pay billion to brazil so they can export oil and we can buy it back? the EPA and liberal dems are a anti prosperity. Green energy may one day be sustainable, but it is NO WHERE NEAR there yet. we should never put all our energy policy into on category. Green energy is proven to be a big looser. Just because you want something to be true doesn't mean it is. Let us drill for our own oil. Is brazil not part of the word? Makes no sense. Energy independence is the way out of this economic nightmare.

        November 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • cony000

      That is because the good ole boys from the South say it will be.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Derek, Houston TX

      Do you actually know anything about oil & energy? Pipelines?

      Before you trash the pipeline, you might want to try plugging your little Macbook into thin air or drive away in your rubberband powered car. The fact is that the chemicals used for fertilizer and waste from cows and livestock have a far greater impact on the water table and environment than all pipelines put together.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
      • 40acres

        Sorry Derek, but you are talking about surface (shallow) aquifers, not the deeper regional ones. I have been in the business of cleaning up leaks from pipelines for 28 years and have yet to see a pipeline built that doesn't leak at some point or some time. You being from Houston should know that the only reason they want a direct line to the gulf is to sell the oil on the world market......not for domestic purpose.

        November 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • justme2323

      Not that I disagree with you, but did you ever ask yourself HOW the refined product would be moved out of a refinery in North Dakota. They would have to build a pipeline to get it out wouldn't they. There are hundreds of pipeines all over the country coming out of the refineries in Texas.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
      • 40acres

        You are exactly right justme, and they don't only come from the southern refineries....they come from and to every refinery. I believe the difference may be in scale. Those are generally 6-12 inch lines and this would be MUCH bigger. So any leak has the potential to be catastrophic. As unlikely as they try to make it sound, the gulf oil spill shows us that anything is possible and the long term damage to a major sole source aquifer could effect large areas for generations.

        November 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Brian

      Rick,

      If you think it is hard trying to build a pipline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, try proposing to the public to build 10 new refineries in North Dakota and see the upheaval from the Public! The pipeline is the easier choice and our refinery infrastructure is going to be on the Gulf Coast for some time.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
      • 40acres

        Brian, there are refineries all over the country...Philadelphia, Toledo, Pittsburgh....they don't want that line to feed refineries, they want that line to feed tankers in the gulf. You don't believe that the oil will be only for domestic use do you?

        November 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Jason

      Refineries are along the Gulf because that is where ports are. Think about it for a second. The USA/Canadian border is not conducive to efficient distribution.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
      • John in Colorado

        Jason you are correct. But also the pipelines that distribute the oil throughout many markets in the USA all go down to the ports. That is where foreign oil is offloaded so it can be refined into a number of different fuels, but also where it can be redistributed to other refineries elsewhere. Generally refined fuels such as gasoline are not sent via pipelines but various forms of crude are. In Colorado, we have our own refineries and produce some crude but probably not all we need. So the rest probably has to come by pipeline.

        November 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
      • 40acres

        John in Colorado, all forms of refined product are put into those underground lines, from gasoline to xylene. Pumping crude is more difficult due to it's viscosity. That's why the trans Alaska pipeline is heated. As I recall, the engineers were quite worried that the heated line would melt the permafrost that it crossed and effect the pipeline supports.

        November 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • SF

      That great, but then where does the refined product go?

      November 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • GW

      Because insane govt regualtions amke ti near impossible to build a new refinery and make a profit.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Lizzie43

      With all the restrictions put on by the Epa under Pres.Obama it is impossible to build a new refinery in N.D. or S.D. or anywhere else. Talking about this is great, Pres. Obama and his admin. don't want that, it would create thousands of jobs, plus all the money would from the oil companies, which he vilifies as often as possible.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
      • 40acres

        Really Lizzie, can you name one regulation that relates to the building of a refinery that he has put in place?

        November 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • AmishAirline

      Mainly because the huge oil companies don't want to "access this energy for America's secure energy future", like their slick commercials say. They want to export it from gulf refineries to countries that will pay top dollar for it on the market. This isn't about our country's energy supply, it's about corporate profit.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • CK

      I agree with you on this. They are always talking about not having enought refineries to process the crude and it seems ridicules to pipe the oil all the way to Texas and then truck it all the way back up north or around the US. I think it would maybe reduce the price of gas a bit.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Cristian

      We could build refineries near border with Canada, but after that gasoline need to be transported all over the country. Transport crude oil or gasoline it's almost the same thing. How you transport it's a different story, you could do it pipeline, trucks or railroad. I think the safest and less pollution it's pipeline. so if we need some infrastructure I think we should build, otherwise we should go with the bicycle or horses.

      November 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • John in Olympia

      Building Refineries up north is not practical for these reasons: (1) ND is still far from where the gasoline is needed, so the refined products still need to be piped or trucked to market, (2) Building refineries takes decades, (3) No refineries have been built in the US since the 70's, (3) The infrastructure already exists down south to refine and distribute, and (4) Keystone already has a pipeline to OK – it is wanting to increase capacity and extend a bit into TX.

      November 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Lee

      Have you tried to build a refinery? Because of the enviromental hurdles, there has not been a new refinery built since 1973 in this country. Even if refineries were built in N. Dakota like you suggest, the gasoline still would need to be sent to markets where it is needed. A pipeline is needed either way. Several pipelines already cross the midwest, carrying crude oil and refined products from sources in the Rocky Mountains to markets in the east. No real problems with them. This is all about global warming concerns, not water pollution.

      November 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Harvey

      I agree it sound better, but there may be reasons why the refineries need to be where they are. Possibly the temperature extremes in the Dekotas makes it impractical. At any rate, the products from the refineries need to be transported somewhere. This would imply a pipeline, trucks, or some other form of transport.

      And again, politics could play a role. You vote dollars to my state for some project and I will throw my weight around to see to it big oil builds a refinery in your state.

      November 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • KCRICK

      The reason the pipeline has to be built to Texas is because that is where the infrastructure is currently built to deliver the oil to other parts of the country, like the upper midwest to midsouth part of the country. Getting to the central distribution point, it can be piped to many parts of the country.

      November 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • PENNY PINCHER

      TO BUILD A REFINERY IN ND WOULD COST 4 TIMES AT LEAST THE COST OF RUNNING PIPE TO GULF. THE GULF REFINERY HAS THE CAPACITY HANDLE THE OIL IN THE PIPE.

      November 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Muditha

      Also it takes at least 10 years to build a refinery after you finish all the environmental studies.

      November 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Steve

      Ultimately, Canada will be shipping their oil somewhere. Talks have already began regarding a pipeline west from Alberta to the Pacific so crude can be shipped to Asia. Bottom line, do the United States want Canadian crude or should they ship it to China?

      November 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
      • 40acres

        Why do you think they want access to the gulf Steve. Not for domestic consumption, that's for sure.

        November 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • usndv

      People have tried to build new refinery's for over 30 yrs . Enviros/ dems won't let it happen.

      November 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • iamthefredman

      Because the anti-business EPA will NOT allow any NEW refineries to be be built on American soil. Kill the EPA NOW !!!

      November 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Scott

      There hasn't been a refinery built in this country since the 70s... environmental nuts get them not built... and even manage to get one closed every now and then. This economy would be booming if not for the left wing environmentalists.

      November 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • T Keller

      The reasons for not building refineries on the north prairie are that they already exist on the Gulf Coast, refining oil uses a LOT of water, and the products still have to be moved to far away markets. The real issue here is buying foreign crude at all, even if it is from Canada. If the mental midgets in Washington want to create jobs in America, we need to spend the 30 billion dollars a year for oil produced in the USA, not outsource it like everything else we buy.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      Do you really think Obama would permit the construction of a new refinery .....ANYWHERE? Not likely.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Charlie, Georgetown, TX

      I agree with Derek in Houston. Building a new refinery would 1) never get past the environmentists and 2) if you do not build a crude oil pipeline to existing refineries you will have to build product pipelines to markets that certainly are not in the North Dakota,Montana,Wyoming area,

      November 2, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  3. Jimi

    Don't authorize the pipeline, it is an accident waiting to happen. The BP spill be be nothing compared to this.

    November 2, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • iamthefredman

      You are so dumb. A pipeline ABOVE the ground will be inspected every day just like the Alaska pipeline has been for 40 years. If it leaks, you can see it, reach it, turn it off and fix it right away. The offshore rig 2 miles under the ocean is a different story as we saw last year. BTW, most of the BP leak could have been resolved much sooner if Obama had any clue as to what to do, how to lead, how to allocate resources and if he used his presidential powers in a positive way to protect the sea, land and people involved. He F'd up big time on the BP spill.

      November 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
      • Ancient Texan

        You have it right. And besides one bad oil spill out of 50,000 is not much of a risk anyway.

        November 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
      • spaced

        Except that it wont be above the ground.

        November 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  4. bipar

    would be no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed pipeline corridor." and where have i heard that before,same old sh**different day

    November 2, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  5. hurryup 2012

    get this jerk out of office

    November 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Ann Marie

      Hurry up and get off the posts, because for one you are ignorant. Second don't hold your breath, the POTUS will definately be re-elcted.

      Obama 2012!

      November 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
      • walkabjdog

        I hope not, dictators should not be welcomed as President in this country.

        November 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
      • Buck Ofama

        Be ready to be wrong... This clown is gone ASAP!

        November 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
      • Laura

        Keep telling yourself that honey. Nobama 2012!

        November 2, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
      • MALEA

        ANN MARIE, I SAY AMEN !

        November 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
      • Ancient Texan

        Sorry Child- Ain't gonna happen!

        November 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • michael

      WHITE CORPORATE AMERICA.NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT YOUR PRESIDENT.HE'S HERE TO STAY BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE GOD INTENDED FOR HIM TO BE,YOU ALREADY CHOP DOWN THE CHERRY TREE WHAT'S NEXT.LET A BLACK MAN TAKEOVER FOR CHANGE.YOULL COULDNT DO IT RIGHT SO STOP COMPLAINING AND GET YOUR SHIT IN WHITE HOUSE AND STOP POINTING FINGERS AND HELP KEEP THIS ECONOMY AFLOAT HELLO,WE CAN DO IT AS A WHOLE BUT NOT THRU RACISM ITS NOT WORKING SO STOP .PEACE

      November 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
      • michael

        WHAT I MEANT ABOUT THE CONGRESS GETTING THERE SHIT RIGHT.STOP POINTING THE FINGER HELP THE PRESIDENT.INSTEAD OF PLACING BLAME ITS YOULL FAULT FOR WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER HOW SMART THE WAY YOULL FUCK THIS ECONOMY.HAVE THE NERVE TO POINT THE FINGER AT OBAMA ALL HES TRYING TO DO IS HELP.SO LET HIM DO HIS JOB YOULL DO YOUR JOB AND HOPEFULLY EVERYTHING WILL WORKOUT.

        November 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
      • Buck Ofama

        uhhh, huh? I can tell by your education as to why you would vote for this loser. You get a pass due to pity. As for the clown in the WHITE House, he is done... Take that and put it in your racist pipe and smoke on it...

        November 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
      • iamthefredman

        "God"? You're invoking "God" when talking about Allah's minion in the White House?

        November 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • Buck Ofama

        I have to agree lmao – He starts of with "White America" and then speaks of a worthless god figure... It's the double-standards like this that has made this country what it is. Morons vote for color and not best fit, support this style of "hand-out" president, and have no clue what they are voting for or against just as long as it's not the white man running. What a joke...

        November 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
      • Ancient Texan

        We've figured out where the racism is coming from and it's not coming from you indicated. Keep on believing your brainwashers.

        November 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • guest4567

      Amen to that!

      November 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  6. Robert Jay

    here si an idea – let the oil companies who seem to make outrageous profits at everyones else expense build a refinery in Canada or somewhat close to this Alberta location instead of depending on the simple minded solution of using what is old and outdated refineries in Texas. I'm sure creating some jobs in the northwest is just as good as jobs in Texas!

    November 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      5-6% NET profit is outrageous? What about MIcrosoft @ 141%? You may be uninformed.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • John in Olympia

      Robert, Ignoring all the other impracticalities of refining the crude in Canada, consider just one: When crude is refined, the result is dozens of products, not just gasoline. Products like Naptha, Kerosene, Diesel Fuel, Jet Fuel, Lubricants, AvGas, Bunker C for ships, Asphalt, and many more. All of these need to get to market. In the absence of pipelines, they would go by truck or railcar. So thousands of trucks or railcars every day on the Interstates/raillines. Think of the additional carnage on the highways, or the damage from derailments, etc.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • tmarsh

      The big reason is the refineries in Texas will be refining bitumen, it costs less than oil and will allow for a larger profit. The other reason is the slowing of crude from Mexico and the end of Venezuelan contracts. The 700000bpd out of this line would require 3 or 4 times the pipeline investment to refine in Canada.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  7. DBLAMP2

    Those refiners are already established. We get more oil and natural gas from Canada than we do from OPEC.Building a pipeline is expensive to say the least,building refineries is twice if not more than the pipeline. This pipeline is proposed not only by the Government of Canada and the pipeline owners but by many Americans out of work in the states its traveling thru. Everyone wants cheaper gas,just don't put it in their backyard. These enviroMENTALists need to get their head out of their *** and let life go on

    November 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  8. Jerry

    King NObama will support it. He needs the brownie points and the millions in kickbacks.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • reaaly???

      You really think Obama is in it for "millions in kickbacks"? First off, i think between his books and his wife's new book i think they will be ok. Sceond, if that is the case then how is he a "socialist" that everyone wants to keep labeling him as? Can't have it both ways!

      November 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Ann Marie

      Tell me all about it ..how's your Rethugs doing?

      November 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      After the millions from Solyndra and the two new bankruptcys in the green jobs scam, I guess a few more millions wouldn't hurt his reelction funds.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  9. CJ

    Nebraskans have no problem with the pipeline being built. We have a problem with WHERE its being built. The existing Keystone pipeline runs way to the east of the Ogallala Aquifer negating any possibility of polluting the Aquifer which is vital to the Sand Hills for drinking water and irrigation. If you look at the route of the new XL pipeline its obvious someone just drew a straight line from the oil sands in Canada straight to Steele City, NE (which is where the oil will be routed to either the Gulf or Illiinois. this was obviously done to save a couple millions $ on a multi-billion $ project. Just reroute the thing to follow the existing route that won't risk polluting our Aquifer. with all the money that TransCanada has spent on advertising and lobbyists, they couldve paid for the extra 150 miles of pipe!

    November 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      One big oil field in TEXAS, the permian basin, is right on top of the same water supply. The water supply is getting a little low but is in fine shape.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  10. Larry L

    The issue is more about global climate change and air pollution caused by refining dirty oil – and less about the potential damage caused by the pipeline. At some point we'll need to forced to walk away from our fossil fuel burning vehicles and power plants and totally turn to renewable energy sources. However, that day is fairly far into the future so it benefits us to use the cleanest sources of fossil fuels possible – like natural gas. Clean coal is a myth and dirty oil-sand is a nightmare. If I had a vote I would vote to expand drilling sites offshore, and allow the risky fracking operations in Texas and Oklahoma – but monitor them both very closely. I would vote to block this pipeline to make it harder to trash the environment with dirty oil refining.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • John in Olympia

      I agree that the real issue is really about what is happening in Alberta, not the pipeline to the USA. Extracting the bitumen from the tar sands and upgrading it to sweet crude oil is a dirty business. But this happens up in Alberta. What flows in the proposed pipeline will be crude oil just as clean as the stuff in the Alaska pipeline. So the environmental impact of extraction and upgrading is Canada's business, not the USA's.

      I suspect you may think that what happens in Canada affects the world and therefore it is your business. But this is a slippery slope. If this were true, then it would have been Canada's business to intervene in many cross border instances of pollution, like the acid rain from midwestern power generators that killed of thousands of Canadian lakes.

      November 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  11. HR

    I am sure Obummer will wait to see just how much will be contributed to his campaign before making the decision – more Obama blackmail – time for this crooked Chicago Politician to go-

    November 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  12. Martin

    The decision won't be Obama's. It will be scrapped by the EPA, who seem to want to step in on every single decision that will cause a ground squirrel to lose its burrow, whether or not thousands of jobs would be created.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  13. Dan - A Canadian engineer

    A lab at Penn State has developed technology that will soon allow us to extract the oil from the tar sands as cleanly as oil from a conventional well.

    And if the USA does not want our oil, they can continue to get it by tanker from Chavez. We'll build domestic pipelines and have the Chinese pick it up by tankers from Prince Rupert. We can also ship it to the US east coast from the port of Churchill by tanker.

    Or we can keep it in the ground as money in the bank. In an oil starved future we'll still be able to drive our SUVs.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  14. DeathStalker

    There is good points and bad points to this all around. First of all it will create some jobs which is good and what we need. The main issue I see is not so much the environmental aspect but all the money we will be giving Canada for that oil. We give it to them now anyhow but we will be that much more tied to the oil industry with that pipeline.

    If anything the president should say ok lets build it but for each barrel of oil that get pumped will add 5 dollars to a fund for renewable energy wind or solar. I think that would turn it into a win/win for everyone. This of course is logical and will probably never happen.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  15. Ray E. Georgia

    This isn't the first pipeline to be built. It would make some sense to build some refineries up north but have you tried to get all the permits to build a new one? Who wants to wait 50 years? You like gas for your car? If you couldn't get gas when you need it you would be screaming your head off. Of course we could go back to horses and buggys.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • SF

      Yep. People want gas for their cars and lower prices, but want it to come out of thin air. A pipeline would be much better than filling up a ship. Less risk of environmental impact.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • jimmylimo

      No, Ray, YOU can go back to your horse and buggy, I'll fly past you silently in my new electric car, powered by solar and wind (it's called the 21st CENTURY !)....

      November 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
      • steveo

        One major flaw in your idea Jimmylimo. The horse and buggy are avaialbe now! Not so much the wind and solar powered car. What do you propsed in the meantime? That car may be avaialble some day just not today!

        November 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
      • Ray E. Georgia

        Jimmy,
        Have you heard the story of the Tortoise and the Hare?

        November 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
      • steveo

        make that ...a.v.a.i.l.a.b.l.e.

        November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
      • Ancient Texan

        An electric car with a 60 mile range is totally useless in West Texas. It's 60 miles or farther to the next town. Then recharge overnight before starting home again? I'd rather have the horse and buggy. Or better yet, gas for my car.

        November 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  16. Jason

    Please approve this. If it's done right, it can be safe and not destroy the environment.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • n2video

      That's what they said about the Deep Horizons well in the Gulf. It's just NOT true.

      November 2, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • Ancient Texan

        One screw up out of 50,000? We do worse than that picking presidents!

        November 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  17. The 46th Pres

    I dont think Obama will support it or sign it for one and only one reason. His owners, the 1% filthy rich people that contribute to his campaign, said they will cut off funding him if he supports it. Obama will not support the 99% of the non-rich unemployed college grads, he will instead opt ot do as his campaign funders choose.

    He is a clown puppet, not a leader

    November 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Lizzie43

      You're right he will do whatever is right for his pocketbook.

      November 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • really???

      But, but, but...I thought he was a socialist? Now he is just a puppet of the 1%? CONTRADICTION!

      November 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  18. tmiles

    Government programs – be it EPA or FEMA are NOT the enemy. Private industry exists to make a profit, government exists to ensure that we have a balance between profits and serving the people. Within the last 30 years, it has swung to the top 1% in private industry. We need both government and private industry working together. It's not EITHER /OR.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      Both have geatly abused their powers during the last 2 years in an effort to enact Obama's CAP and TAX agenda through the back door.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  19. lmb

    Someone needs to make the President understand that this pipeline endangers Kansas's aquifer, and that our own Governor will do nothing to protect it! We need Mr. Obama to look out for us especially since Governor Brownback sits in the back pocket of the Koch brothers.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  20. battleshipbill

    The same whiners said the Trans-Alaska pipeline would destroy the environment and kill the wildlife.....and the opposite actually happened.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • William

      Not actually true, the A-Pipline has had its fair share of spills, and is in great need of upgrades. It is also known to be a top terror target. It’s not always the win/win that is often reported.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • John in Olympia

      BattleshipBill, Well Alaska Oil did kill wildlife, but at the end of the pipe, not along it. Remember the Exxon Valdez? But now we have double hulled tankers, so not so much risk anymore.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  21. ADK

    Obama finds the Constitution cumberson. Like Hugo Chauvez, he can become our dictator in cheif by moving at first on ever-so subtle matters. Forget about states rights... you don't need em...

    The smartest guy in the room, on the planet in your lifetime... Barack Hussein Obama is going to make the decisions that are good for you comrade citizen. Relinquish any thought that this is a Republic, it means nothing to Dear Leader Obama and it should mean nothing to you.....

    Take heed... Obama's former communist mentors now speak from the grave through their portege'...

    November 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • DeathStalker

      I think our country would be a much better place if we have Obama 4 to 8 years with kingly powers. I have a feeling America would be a much better place long after he was gone because of the changes he would make.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
      • Ancient Texan

        SURELY you jest!

        November 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • DeathStalker

      Lets add a 1 dollar service charge per barrel that will go to a fund for renewable energy.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
      • John in Olympia

        One dollar a barrel would be about 5 cents per gallon of gas. We already have gas taxes at both the Fed and State level that are much more than this. Some of this tax revenue goes to support roads, but a lot of it is spent for completely unrelated programs. So maybe it is more about seeing that those fuel taxes get spent properly to maintain roads and promote alternative vehicle fuels.

        November 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  22. jean2009

    The money wasted on a 1,700 mile pipeline (ecological disaster in the making) could best be spent on bringing about clean alternative non-polluting energy sources.

    @The 46th Pres

    I am not one of the 1% filthy rich and I certainly support President Obama for not supporting a dinosaur project. I don't see 99% unemployed college grads building pipelines....why don't you admit you are not speaking for the 99%, but for the 1%.
    Obama-Biden 2012

    November 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • GJS1994

      The first comment on this article that makes sense.

      November 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  23. NAK

    Yes it is much safer to load oil in boats that have to sail 1/2 way around the world, while giving our money to countries that support terrorism or flat out hate us than to ever build a pipeline. I mean, who ever could image a pipeline, yes a pipeline running through our country. I mean a bat could fly into it or earthworms couldn’t get to the other side. The horror.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  24. rob

    What if there is a earthquake? I think it is much safer to not build this pipeline.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  25. really???

    it's funny, people make comments on things they generally have no clue about. You hate the president but yet you are not doing all that you can do on a small personal level to help your fellow man. He can't make a choice based on a few that will affect the many, but we can, we can help the family down the street from us that have fallen on hard times, feed a homeless person, volunteer at a soup kitchen something besides tearing down the one person that seems to be doing something for the majority of the country. If he is a "puppet" then his actions don't really support that theory. Sometimes we need to shut-up and give folks a chance to show themselves as what they are.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  26. Jimbo

    Obama will do whatever gives him the most campaign donations. The title of this article should have been "Obama Puts the Oil Pipline up for Auction".

    November 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  27. Jimbo

    test

    November 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  28. Jimbo

    Obama does whatever gives him the most campaign donations. The title of this article should have been "Obama Puts the Oil Pipline up for Auction".

    November 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  29. Jimbo

    F you CNN.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • jimmylimo

      illiterate moron...

      November 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • n2video

      Well, that's really intelligent, Jimbo.

      November 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Jimbo

      CNN would not post my comments, I was testing the system. Jimmy, go f yourself.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  30. jimmylimo

    FA-GEDD-ABOUT-IT ! In the face of all the recent reports confirming global warming and climate change, spend the $7 billion dollars on a massive wind farm on the plains.... the oil from the Canadian tar sands is BEING SHIPPED TO CHINA ! Their cars pollute FAR worse than ours, and will heat the planet even faster. Jobs will be created HERE building and maintaing windmills and transmission lines, and we'll have free, CLEAN, energy for DECADES to come... WAKE UP AMERICA !!! STOP the FIRESTONE XL pipeline !!!

    November 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • steveo

      Jimmy,

      I read an article a few weeks back about concerns that wind farms are killing birds, to include golden eagles! We gonna shut them dowm too? Where is the balance?

      November 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
      • jean2009

        @steveo

        You obviously didn't read enough articles on the subject and/or articles up to date on the subject. Yes, older models may kill some birds, but newer models are better designed. Today's modern models are sleek, slow-turning with no places for nesting and perching.

        If you are against wind turbines due to bird kill (knowing you that would not be your normal agenda)...then I suggest you start by knocking the windows out of every high-rise building and every home with a picture window. If you are turning into an active environmentalist...how about moving vehicles as a source of bird strikes (that is very common) along with turtles, deer, and every other type of roadkill. One million wild animals are killed each year due to contact with a motor vehicle.

        http://www.treehugger.com : Common Eco-Myth: Wind Turbines Kill Birds.

        November 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
      • Steveo

        Jean2009,

        Thank you for the update. You said " If you are against wind turbines due to bird kill (knowing you that would not be your normal agenda'. Your are correct I am not against wind, solar, or anything else. The point I was making about the proposed pipeline is simply this...There is a balance! I just used wind farms as an example of balance! Thanks for the input. I hope you are well. I think the best energy policy is a balanced one and right now we don't have that!

        November 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  31. jbrock1976

    First, If it is done CORRECTLY, it will create jobs which we need. Second, the more oil we produce domestically, the lower the gas prices in the US = more $$ for everyone on a monthly basis, rich or poor. Third, yes the evil oil people will make more money, but it will also generate tax revenues through sales = lower deficit.

    Obama will pass it because if he doesn't Repubs will slam him for not creating jobs when we need more jobs. If he passes it, the Republicans can sit back and watch his liberal support melt away like the polar icecaps. Obama is in a no-win situation on this one. Let's face it, he is going to lose the next election because he has put himself into a bad position by not doing the things he promised which was to create jobs, lower the deficit, and lessen our dependence on non-renewable energy sources. Had he done those things, I'd love the guy. But be honest, he hasn't.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • jean2009

      @jbeock1976 in the first place oil sand is expensive to process into usable fuel and it produces 2 to 4 times the convention amount of greenhouses gases per barrel as the amount used to produce conventional fuel from crude.

      For tar sands the whole process from well to wheels emits 10 to 45% more greenhouse gas than conventional crude.

      Add to that the damage to the environment from the mining, the cost of the pipeline, the damage to the environment from processing the tar sand (whether we do it or China does it), and then vehicles using it which only adds to the pollution.

      Take it from this 76 year old ...spending that wad of money wasted on mining, pipeline, processing and using it to go green tech makes much more sense.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  32. us1776

    We're tired of seeing massive private projects where the profits are all privatized but the impacts are all socialized and foisted on the taxpayer. This is corporate-socialism pure and simple and its been going on for decades and it has got to stop.

    KILL TAR SANDS KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

    .

    November 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Exactly!!

      Yes! All these guys yammer about the holiness of business and demonize the EPA, but guess who gets the bill for all the cancer their actions cause & bailing out the company when it goes bankrupt & cleaning up the mess when it screws up as it inevitably does? Yep, us taxpayers. Maybe for once Obama will live up to his campaign promises & kill this loser project.

      November 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
      • Ancient Texan

        There's hundreds of oil pipelines all over West Texas and Eastern N.M. on top of the same exact water supply and it's in very good shape. You environmentalist find fault with eveything over nothing.

        November 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  33. MiketheElectrician

    Yummm....tar sand water....makes my mouth water...

    November 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  34. Christopher Adam Kaiser

    I live in Omaha, Nebraska. This has been a major issue for many of us who live here. The fact that the refinery 'must be placed at the Gulf in order to make exportation easier' clearly shows that the motivation is not to create oil independence. Rather, the true intent seems to be to toy with people's perceptions and emotions (using many mechanisms including the central-bank controlled 'economy') in order to create another proxy for building up the world-wide war machine. I don't have a car so I really don't care. Also, when (not if) the pipeline ruptures we will have the biggest water aquifer in the United States contaminated. Don't be thick.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      GET A Clue!

      November 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  35. david

    PASS MY JOB BILL!!!!! DONT DEBATE IT OR COMPROMISE OR EVEN READ THE WHOLE THING!!!!

    You want to put thousands of americans to work that will take months if not years to complete and would include safety inspectors to ensure it does not cause damage??!! So its not good to cheapen the cost of transporting oil? Im going to have to think about that.....

    November 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  36. Sagebrush Shorty

    Just what we needed,more executive decisions by our wannabe dictator.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • us1776

      Yeah, we certainly wouldn't want any more decisions like getting Osama bin Laden, al-Hawiri, Gadhafi and dozens of other terrorists. That would be just horrible.

      .

      November 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
      • walkabjdog

        Oh, don't give him too much credit for what the military would have done under any President.

        November 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • us1776

        walkabjdog, The GOP and Bush had 8 years to get those terrorists and it was Obama who actually ordered the proper missions to get these and dozens of other terrorists.

        .

        November 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
      • Buck Ofama

        Wow... Talk about running up a credit rating. He did all this from vacation? What a bag full of bs. Soldiers get the credit and rightfully so, not some clown watching on a screen. Of course those that dish-out to this loser will never admit that...

        November 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  37. bho

    Obama is on the Pipe!

    November 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  38. KCRICK

    Come on – its a pipeline for gosh sake! You telling me we cannot build a pipeline safely in 2012-2015 timeframe? We built the Alaska pipeline in the 70's under much worse conditions. This president hates carbon and would rather sink billions down the rathole called solar energy. Any by the way, Mr. President, it is 20,000 direct, high paying jobs, and a flow down of an estimated 100,000 additional jobs to vendors, communities, etc....

    November 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  39. partysstink

    Hmmm where can i get the most votes from and keep other dems happy. Jobs or enviroment just like every politcal he will go for the votes to win like all in D.C. do.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  40. scooter

    Do the pipeline! If my friends want Obama to be more like FDR, then they would want this pipeline. This is such a non issue. Almost every citizen in this nation lives within feet of some pipeline carrying either gas, water, or sewage. What is the blessed big deal about this one? There are natural gas pipelines running up almost every urban street but somehow cities are not ablaze in constant explosions. So the people that are complaining on the one hand about jobs, and on the other about this pipeline should go back to watching dancing with the stars.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  41. walkabjdog

    So the decision will be made by the current President! Great, we can see how his decisions have continued to slow this countries economy down already.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  42. scooter

    In the global scheme of things this pipeline will not solve any energy needs, but it will employ people.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  43. mike proctor

    I trust President Obama to made the right decision for this Country and what is best for all of the unemployed Americans in this Country. I read these comments and I'm so sick of all these jackasses making statements that they can not prove one way or another. Just shut the hell up and go get a job if you not working at this time. The people in this Country think they know everything about everything and this is the very reason they were hoodwinked into buying a house they could not afford. If this pipeline can be build with all safety standards intact and with all the humanly expertise that can be muster working hand in hand to cover all unknown factors within reason I said build the damn thing. We need JOBS,JOBS for the American people or we find ourselves in the same situation Greece in right now.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • jbrock1976

      I trust President Obama to made [make] the right decision... making statements that they can not [cannot] prove... go get a job if you [are] not working at this time. If this pipeline can be build [built]... humanly expertise [since when is expertise humanly?] that can be muster [mustered] working hand in hand to cover all unknown factors within reason I said [say] build the damn thing. We need JOBS,JOBS for the American people or we find ourselves in the same situation Greece [is] in right now.

      your poor education is why we are in the situation we are in. please don't preach to people until you learn to at least speak and write properly.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
      • steveo

        "your poor education is why we are in the situation we are in. please don't preach to people until you learn to at least speak and write properly".

        Shouldn't that "p" in please be capitalized? Seriously, When I am typing, the words I see in my head are spelled perfectly. That does not always translate on my computer screen. Come on, Jbrock1976! Cut him some slack! there are serious concerns on both sides of this issue! My hope is that whatever decisions are made are made with the American people iand NOT special interests (on BOTH sides) in mind. I also hope they are made based upon complete studies and not emotion!

        November 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  44. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican

    Hmmm...lets see how this plays politically. Based on that analysis I will make the call. Lets not trouble ourselves with what is good for the country or the economics or the science. I need to stand with the greenies!

    November 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  45. Dem in NE

    In Nebraska, most of us are for the pipeline, but we want it routed away from the giant Ogallala Aquifer they plan to route it through. We are a heavy ag state, and the majority of our water comes from that aquifer. Keystone already has a pipeline going through our state, and the majority of us are simply asking that they route their new pipeline alongside the existing one, which does not cross that aquifer. And the CEO of the Canadian corporation needs to stop telling Nebraskans where they're going to put it, and listen to the people it affects. Last I heard, Nebraskans should have a bigger say in matters of their own state than a foreign corporate CEO.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  46. mike

    If I had a penny for every stupid Democrat
    Obama will come out with a NO. Didn't you just see campaign dollars tied to his decision? The guy likes his piece of the pie even more than a Repulican!

    November 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  47. PENNY PINCHER

    IF OBAMA KNEW SHIT HE WOULD NOT BE STEPPING IN IT ALL THE TIME.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  48. Suzanne

    Obama said: "Folks. . . aren't going to say to themselves , ‘We're going to take a few thousand jobs if it means our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health.'"
    The known; the Keystone XL Pipeline would create 10s of thousands of jobs in the near term and would spur thousands of permanent long term jobs. The pipeline would help to secure a steady flow of oil, reducing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Keep in mind, this would happen without spending a single taxpayer dollar.
    The speculation; that the pipeline MIGHT pollute ground water in some indeterminable amount at some unforeseeable point in the future.

    The odd thing is that this is coming from the same person/people that had no qualms (rather insistence) with passing the stimulus.
    The known; it would place a huge mountain of debt on the same generation whose drinking water might, albeit unlikely, be damaged by this pipeline.
    The speculation; that it might improve the economy.

    Why do they keep acting on speculation in the face of certain outcomes? Why is it okay to hamstring the next generation with the absolute of colossal debt, but then seeking to protect them from a potential pipeline leak. Why is it okay to endlessly talk about improving the nation’s infrastructure with taxpayer’s money, but the minute a private institution offers to upgrade our pipeline infrastructure, they balk?

    November 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Dem in NE

      When the CEO of the Canadian Keystone corporation was in Lincoln, our capitol, he was quoted as saying that the company would put additional safety considerations into this project in order to keep the original route. Additional safety considerations. Even Nebraskans that are only opposed to the routing of the pipeline, not its existence, started asking why the heck wouldn't those safety considerations be put in place in the first place? Trust a corporation to police itself? We don't think so.

      November 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  49. Victor

    Sure, why don't we shut all the power plants in US since every single one of them is destroying the environment. How does it sound? Once and for all. Throw away your iphones because it creates brain tumors. Throw away your ipads because wifi also creates brain tumors. Make sure throw away your microwaves and cordless phones at home. There is always a balance between making a profit and keeping people relatively safe. When there is no jobs around, what are you gonna do? Hug the trees and pray that food will fall from the sky?

    November 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  50. PaulR

    Fossil fuels causing Global Warming? I totally REJECT that notion. If global warming is occurring as a result of mankind it is because we are developing land. If the sun is out on a 90 degree day and you walk on grass, what do you feel? Cool grass. If you walk on concrete or asphalt what do you get? Burned feet. Now it is the night after that 90 degree day. What happens? That concrete and asphalt release its stored heat back into the atmosphere and heats the air. That is why large urban areas are ALWAYS warmer that surrounding rural areas given equal environmental conditions. The only way you will ever stop global warming is to stop paving over grasses and trees and to limit population growth.

    Personally, I think that global warming, if it is even occuring, is a result of natural processes combined with land development. The area that I live in was once covered by glaciers. Those glaciers retreated a great many years before any industry even existed. The cause? Well, obviously global warming.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • jean2009

      @ PaulR
      I happen to think it is from too many gas-guzzlers and industrial smoke stack emissions during the last 80-90 years. Do a little research about phenology records...do you realize Kudzu is now growing farther north than the normal winter hardy to range, that hummingbirds are migrating later?

      November 3, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  51. Drew

    The other thing about this pipeline is that the corporation that is building the pipeline al;ready has a lot of employees working for them. They are not going to hire anywhere near their stated amount of "new jobs" and probably will end up not hiring that many people from any state they work in. It's all smoke and mirrors they promise you the moon over corporate greed and trust me they don't see polution as a problem as long as it's not in their backyard.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • iamthefredman

      Of course they will need to hire tens of thousands of NEW employees. How many jobs do you think the existing employees can do? You think they'll work 24/7? Are you nuts? Please never start your own business.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • John in Olympia

      The people Keystone has to operate existing pipelines need to keep doing just that. The people with the skills to build the pipeline are probably unembployed at present. Same as the steel workers needed to make 1700 MILES of pipe. And when these thousands of newly employed people start earning good money, there will be a multiplier effect all the way from home construction down to the local McDonalds.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  52. socalgal

    I've never seen such an infantile and petty resident of the Oval Office. He's everywhere (on my tax dollars), sticking his nose into everything (isn't that why we have infrastructure), trying to get his picture everywhere (in Pentagon books, classrooms, etc.). He makes decisions and policy that affect us without following the very principles and processes in place for doing so. He lies to his party, his Congress, and chastises his followers telling them they're too stupid to understand him and his actions. He is the very embodiment of an American dictator.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • MALEA

      socialgal, you the embodiment of a sorry gal.

      November 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • mike proctor

      WHAT IN THE HELL WRONG WITH YOU,sound like a overdose crack head!! Do youself a big favor,get medical treatment like Now before you cook the rest of that tiny cell you call a brain.

      November 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  53. dugee

    I think the pipeline is a good idea.It will reduce american dependence on oil supplies from the politically unstable middle east.
    The question is whether or not it can be done safely. Surely with today's technology that can be accomplished.The EPA is a plus in this situation and can ensure safeguards and spill detection measures are in place. Some of you nut cases just see them as a hindrance to capitalism. Does anyone remember Love Canal?
    No, it is not a porn site.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  54. REPUBDEMOC

    we need the oil; hebetter sign it

    November 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  55. John

    Several wealthy Democratic donors said last week their support for Obama's 2012 campaign will be tied to the administration's decision about Keystone."

    Sounds like some kind of kick back to me

    November 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  56. Drew

    My question is if they are going to use this oil/gas at a lower price here in America the why does it have to be pipelined at all? The whole premise is more affordabl;e fuel for America and pipelining it to the gulf says shipment to foreign markets for profit. I say hell no!!

    November 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  57. Drew

    Don't forget once they build it it is done and what they do with it is their call not Americas don't be scammed again!!

    November 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  58. Dean

    No nasty ol pipelines......But let's build more nuclear palnts so if we do have a malfunction with fuel it can be a really big one.
    Not to mention that maybe we could send a little less money to those who hate us.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  59. Raven

    The problem is the enironmentalists are extremists. There are happy mediums but these people would like to see us go back to the cave days. They supported the wind turbines – yet it turns out those turbines kill birds who get caught. I also don't respect the environmentalists not only because they have caused the loss of hundreds of jobs over the years but many of them are paid – as are the majority of activists.
    Thanks to the oil reserves in ND and MT, we have the opportunity to escape being held hostage to foreign oil. This is a call for everyone to work together so we can stop financing the terrorists in the middle east with our oil money.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  60. JamesB - engineer

    My neighbor welds this type of pipeline in Alaska. Best I can tell they are built to standards comparable to aerospace. They use welders with decades of experience, use x-rays and magnetic imaging to inspect the welds, and take very seriously even a single drop of oil on the ground. Having this pipeline come through my watershed wouldn't bother me at all. We need to stimulate technology to get off oil all together, but that isn't going to happen until we run out. In the mean time I would rather see the oil come in a pipe from Canada than a ship from the Middle East.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  61. Bravo

    First of all, I would like to point out that there are 3.1 million open jobs in American that cannot be filled by Americans because most Americans don't have the intellectual capacity to handle the responsibilities of those jobs. And hence this is why employers have to go outside of the country to seek out the educated talent they need to fulfill those jobs. So the jobs that are going to get created by this pipeline that Americans can do will be short lived because they are construction jobs. Once the pipeline is complete, they will be out of work again.

    Secondly, the longer term higher-end engineering jobs that the pipeline would create will only be given to those individuals that have the qualifying education and /or experience to do them,...so no more jobs for American's here.

    So jobs are not a reason to give a green light to creating the pipeline, especially since the thousands of temporary construction work that Americans could do would do little to impact the unemployment rate. Secondly, the process of extracting crude from sands is intensive, environmentally destructive and finite. Yet we are so blindly dependent on it we are willing to expend the time, money and energy to send sand nearly two thousand miles to get refined for our black gold.

    That is like building a pipeline from a glacial lake in Alaska to California because that is the only water we want to water our lawns. Never mind that he will cost a crap load and it is probably the most inefficient means of creating and distributing a product.

    Obama, say NO to this retarded idea.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  62. HempLover

    If this vast reserve of oil is burned, you can say good bye to life as we have known it. The climate is changing, has already changed, and humans are not yet facing this fact. Legalize hemp, use the oil for fuel, and watch the economy soar. Stop burning filthy fossil fuels. Keep them sequestered underground where they belong.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  63. unknown11

    Well, his choice is to do what he thinks will be good for himself, or good for the country. Which way do you think he will go?

    November 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • MALEA

      he'll do whats right for the country, truste me.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • cosmotwo

      Whom ever pays his campaign the most!

      November 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Boston Dawg

      I can only assume this is a joke..... will he do what is best for him or the country? He does not take a breath without considering the political implications. He does only what is best for him with a single goal..... take money from those that are successful in order to expedite the process of the USA mirroring Greek EXCEPTIONALISM...

      November 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  64. Liza

    What are the consequences if the pipeline bursts or fails? Is it worth the risk? I'm not so sure. And what safeguards are in place to make sure nothing catastrophic happens? I guess I need more information as to what damage the pipe can do if there is a major earthquake or disaster. Sounds kind of scary to me. Not sure Obama should support this.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • unknown11

      I agree. Let's all just huddle together in our animal skins for warmth. Who needs all that warmth? To heck with transportation. You can make everything you need right in your own home, right? You have chickens in your yard, right? You don't need electricity for a computer or anything, right?

      Man you people are frustrating. You understand that energy is what makes living on anything but a subsistance farm work, right?

      November 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • steveo

      Liza,
      Your point that there are more questions than answers concerning this. One thing nobody has posted is Nebraska is in tornado country!

      Unknown 11,

      People have legit concerns on BOTH sides of this issue! If this is going to be done it had better be right! Nobody is advocating animal skins! Yet there are legit concerns all around!

      November 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • iamthefredman

      A pipeline ABOVE the ground will be inspected every day just like the Alaska pipeline has been for 40 years. If it leaks, you can see it, reach it, turn it off and fix it right away. The offshore rig 2 miles under the ocean is a different story as we saw last year. BTW, most of the BP leak could have been resolved much sooner if Obama had any clue as to what to do, how to lead, how to allocate resources and if he used his presidential powers in a positive way to protect the sea, land and people involved. He F'd up big time on the BP spill.

      November 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • iamthefredman

      You need real energy (not foolishness like wind and solar power) if you want modern conveniences and the life you have today. If you don't care about such things, go live in Afghanistan with the Taliban. They have no energy and modern conveniences. Look at how they live. Solar and wind are idotic wastses of money. When the sun goes down and the wind stops blowing, please tell me how well your TV, boiler, hot water heater, car and computer work.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
      • Dem in NE

        Sigh. Okay, let's give this a shot... Wind and solar setups do produce the same electricity that gas and coal do. In many parts of this country, private and public buildings already utilize wind and solar to create electricity to operate their households and businesses, the modern conveniences you talk about. To address your second point, these wind and solar setups often include storage facilities (In effect, large rechargeable batteries) for the excess energy created that the private and public buildings cannot use in one day. Where these setups do not come with storage facilities, these wind and solar plants send the excess energy created back to public power districts for other consumers to use. And the excess energy sent the other direction is sold, not just given away. So, a building with wind or solar setups has the energy they need, and can either stockpile or sell back excess energy created, at a profit. If these buildings do not have the ability to store or reroute energy, they consume and pay for whatever extra minimal energy they require from the existing power plants. Sounds like good business sense to most people, and they don't have to continue digging or drilling our planet away to get to the resources.

        November 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
      • Rep in CO

        Our modern conveniences don't care where the electrons come from and there are a number of alternative non-fossil fuels which can run vehicles. Heck, even the Air Force is running on a biofuel blend that emits something like 80% less CO2. Going non-fossil does not mean going without energy. BTW, more GW of wind and solar came on line last year than nuclear and university researchers found that even solar is less expensive now than nuclear when permitting, construction, insurance, operations, and fuel costs are included.

        November 3, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • John in Olympia

      Liza, The US is already crisscrossed by pipelines. There are already 2000 miles of oil pipeline crossing the aquifer. But you hardly ever hear of pipeline spills of any significance. And for the 35 miles that cross the most sensitive section of the aquifer, the contractor has offered to encase the pipeline in concrete, a kind of "double-hull".

      November 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  65. WAIT

    WAIT. The key point here is that Obama is going to make a decision. That'sfunny.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  66. chris

    Obama is still on his high horse.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  67. chill

    I fully believe in global warming and the need to move away from fossil fuels. Having said that though, it's not something that will happen overnight and we can't cripple the economy as we transition. And moving away from foreign oil from unfriendly areas of the world is also an improtant security goal. So if the science says that this pipeline can be done safely, then it should move forward. If we demand the government base decisions on scientific facts as we should, then we need to do that consistently. Want to discourage fossil fuel use, then remove all the subsidies and tax breaks they enjoy.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • DeathStalker

      Lets also add a bill to each barrel of oil that gets piped and have that money put in an account to fund renewable energy project directly by sollar cells or wind turbines.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  68. Donnie from Canada

    Forget any pipline into the U.S.Build the PIPELINE and the REFINERY in CANADA where it belongs!

    November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  69. jj

    Build the pipeline. We'll be lucky to have it. But build it strong and build it safe.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  70. Bob

    "Folks in Nebraska, like folks all across the country, aren't going to say to themselves, 'We're going to take a few thousand jobs if it means our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health."

    What a complete buffoon we have as President.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  71. MsM

    Our entire system is flawed. It almost doesn't matter who we have sitting in the White House as President; they all owe some corporation more than they owe us. That's how it works. There's no more opportunity for "Mr. Smith goes to Washington". Anyone actually worthy of running this country can't afford the cost. There's no such thing as a good politician. If they're in the race, they're already bought. Unfortunately, we now weight our decisions on the lesser of the evil.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  72. John in Olympia

    Pros:
    (1) Reduces US dependence on unfriendly foreign sources of oil.
    (2) Helps bridge the gap between today's fossil fuel based economy and the desired renewable resource economy.
    (3) Lots of jobs for materials and construction. And some permanent jobs for operations.
    (4) Delays the day the US will need to tap even dirtier sources of hydrocarbons (Oil Shales, etc.).
    (5) Helps support our Canadian cousins, instead of sending our wealth to despots.
    Cons:
    (1) Some risk of environmental damage from the pipeline itself.
    (2) Large CO2 emissions related to the mining and upgrading activity in Canada.
    (3) Lessens the pressure to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, thereby contributing to global warming.
    Analysis:
    (1) Environmental risks from the pipeline itself can be mitigated with alternate routing and special safeguards.
    (2) New In-Situ methods of recovery will greatly reduce the environmental damage resulting from extraction. Also, whatever the US decides won't alter Canada's determination to develop the oil sands. If the US doesn't want it, China will buy.
    (3) Fuel economy standards and gasoline taxes can be used to promote cars and trucks powered by alternative fuels.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • jean2009

      It makes more sense to spend the money on developing new clean technology. The cost of funding a costly tar sands project is the equivalent of pounding sand down a rat hole.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
      • John in Olympia

        It isn't public money. It isn't even American money, since Keystone is owned by TransCanada Pipeline.

        November 2, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ John in Olympia
        It won't make gasoline cheaper in the U. S.; it will not lessen our dependency on foreign oil; oil sands refining releases more carbon than other crude and would wipe out any cuts we have made to carbon emission of greenhouse gases. It will at best for all the damage it will cause to our environment provide a maximum 6000 jobs. We have just endured the worst summer for tornado damage which cost millions...so cost please. Cost is cost regardless of how it is incurred.
        Suggested reading: The Keystone Pipeline Revolt Sept. 29, 2911

        November 3, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  73. sequoia

    It's time to orient our infrastructure away from fossil feuls. I don't support ANYTHING that fails to get us there. Period.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • jean2009

      Wise words...wise position....Thanks.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ George trees are fossil fuel. So are dinosaurs like you. All people get a vote no a Keystone Pipeline.

        November 3, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • George

      You are a tree. You do not get a vote.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • OneOfTheSheep

      George,

      Now that's FUNNY!

      November 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  74. g.r.r.

    Let it go through, but with some changes:
    1) require American steel and labor (legal labor that is).
    2) require that multiple pipes go in for carrying other items (water, oil, natural gas, communications, electricity, etc).

    We are likeily going to want to ship water, oil, gas around. Better to do it via pipes.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  75. OneOfTheSheep

    Once again the so-called "Environmentalists" would sabotage a project that will bring many, many good paying jobs to American workers (that need them desperately). This pipeline would be a good step along the path of the energy independence absolutely essential in an ever-hostile world for America. Also, for those that don't know, stuff is PUMPED thru pipelines. Raw crude, etc. can be sent south and, alternately, refined products can be sent north (if and when other methods of distribution are less competitive).

    The world's "tree huggers" would sacrifice anything and everything Americans enjoy and hold dear on their altar of "save the earth". They praise those in Africa who live in mud huts and scrabble for insects and tubers to eat, popping out babies every year they cannot feed, educate, provide a job.

    I apologize to no one in saying “Let the ecologists freeze in the dark”. I LIKE my house, car, computer, music player, VCR, widescreen high-definition TV, meat and good wine. Get used to it!

    November 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  76. Max

    You guys have got to take a tour of CNN at 7:00 am in the morning. At 7:00, all employees, must stand up and say a pledge to Obama.

    I pledge allegiance
    To Obama
    and to the all of his socialism ways.
    And to this Republic,
    For which he no longer stands,
    One Nation, Not under god,
    Total divisible by ClassWarFare
    With socialism and no justice for all.

    We also pledge never to say anything bad about Obama or Pelosi, and we must act as their mouth piece puppets 24/7.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  77. cosmotwo

    What a joke for a headline, it will be which ever lobbyist that donates the most to the campaigner in chief.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Boston Dawg

      Wall St. really really really bad... other than being the largest contributors to the 2008 Obama campaign....... what a DB

      November 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  78. Frank Tillery

    For those who cannot seem to note anything but uninformed, asinine comments about our President, stop whining and vote! That way you will truly get what you deserve.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  79. 2020

    When it comes to decision that require cool head and street smart, President Obama has the trust of the nation, just as his solid record in managing the wars, and getting rid of terrorists. Rest be assured, this President has the intellectual capacity to steer through mountains of pros and cons. On this, we could have a good night sleep, whether the 3am phone call comes or not. Thank God!

    November 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  80. Zuul

    I hope Obama does not support the pipeline. Here are the reasons as a Canadian I hope it doesn't go through:

    1) China doesn't care about environmental standards used in obtaining the oil, they just want to burn it. The fact Canada has some of the strictest environmental standards in the world already is not something they care about.
    2) China has invested billions of dollars into Canadian oil sands development without telling us how to do it
    3) China doesn't publicly meddle in the internal politics of other states since they don't like people meddling in theirs (ie: Mainland China vs. Republic of China on Taiwan)
    4) It's one less thing Canada has to listen to the US complain about
    5) The Keystone pipeline (not to be confused with the XL expansion) is already in operation from Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma. The oil is moved from there via road, rail and on other pipelines – many of which already transport to the gulf. We're already exporting ridiculous amounts of Oilsands oil down to you, and the Keystone isn't even at capacity yet. I'm sure that in the future when you need that oil, we will be more than happy to build it on your dollar instead of ours.

    Signed – a Canadian who will benefit more from this than you will.

    November 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  81. George

    How is a pipeline going to affect global warming? The people with the signs are just plain stupid.

    November 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • OneOfTheSheep

      I agree, but for other reasons. They seem to be reasoning that the product the pipeline will transport will eventually be consumed in a manner that "affects global warming". Since that is true even when a cow passes gas, one must admit in such context such concern is not udderly (smile) without basis.

      Note this as a rare example of "selective reasoning", i.e. they stop reasoning when they find any excuse that satisfies their adopted agenda.

      November 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
      • Bill744

        Sheep – It may not be that selective. I know of no means of sequestering the CO2 emissions released from burning fossil fuels. However, I recall reading of research that has identified the one bacteria that is responsible for most of sheep methane emissions (sheep farts). A very small number of bacterial strains are responsible for this kind of "natural gas" – even in humans. Thus, the only ways to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels are either sequestration (which has not found a good, scalable solution yet) or reduction of consumption. If XL is not build, yes, TransCanada will take a different route – it won't stop consumption. But it will reduce it somewhat. But no matter how much production is increased, worldwide demand is growing faster. The best policy choice for nations will be to switch to non-fossil fuels and non-fossil electric sources. Getting down the cost curve on those approaches will have lasting benefits.

        November 3, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  82. Keith

    Why the hell don't they just build a refinery on this side of the border? Then there's no thousand miles of pipeline to possibly break, and we still get the gas and fuel oil we need. It can't be any more expensive to build a refinery than it is to build a pipeline that long.

    November 2, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  83. Nick

    THE ROOT OF OUR ECONOMIC AND JOB GROWTH PROBLEM IS THE "DO NOTHING" REPUBLICANS (SPECIALLY THE TEA PARTIERS IN THE CONGRESS. WE HAVE A BRILLIANT PRESIDENT WHO WHO HAS BEEN TRYING HIS LEVEL BEST TO PROPOSE GOOD BILLS FOR JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH, BUT UNFORTUNATELY THE CONGRESS WITH THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY IS BLOCKING ALL HIS EFFORTS. OBVIOUSLY THE TEA PARTIERS DON;T CARE ABOUT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. THEY ARE EITHER UN-AMERCAN OR TOTAL IDIOTS. IT IS EVEN APPARENT THAT REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES (EXCEPT MAY BE RON PAUL AND ROMNEY) DON'T EVEN HAVE AVERAGE INTELLIGENCE. ARE HERMAN CAIN, MICHELLE BACKMAN & RICK PERRY FIT TO BE PRESIDENT OF OUR GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD? IT IS A SHAME THE WAY THAT MOST OF THE REPUBLICANS WITH TEA PARTY SUPPORT ARE ACTING.

    November 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • OneOfTheSheep

      Presuming you can read as well as hunt and peck, CAPS LOCK is not the cruise button on your keyboard!

      November 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  84. holoman

    1. If it cost $ 7 billion to build pipeline then build a refinery next to tar sand field stopping the need for pipeline.

    2. Whether is Middle East or Canada, America needs to develop energy independence.

    3. More renewable energy technology should be funded. Its clean, its green, and its forever from the US.

    November 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  85. Bill744

    The two objections to this pipeline are the risks of contamination of a major aquifer used by the major grain production states and whether the oil will be refined and used in the US or taken out of the port of Houston for export to the highest bidder. The major justifications are jobs and energy security. But the congressional debate should be based on facts.

    A few minutes ago, Representative Pete Olson (R) stated that the Keystone XL pipeline would allow the US to import more oil from Canada than from Saudi Arabia. The latest figures from the DOE, for August 2011, show that the US imported twice as much oil from Canada as from Saudi Arabia.

    If the oil is to be refined and sold in the USA, then why does the pipeline extend past many good refineries in the heartland of America?

    There is too much misinformation and the risks are too severe for this gamble.

    November 3, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • OneOfTheSheep

      My grandfather (father's side) and my grandmother's second husband (first died of appendicitis) and my father worked for Tidewater Oil in the east and midwest building and maintaining pipelines in the '20s and '30s. The technology for a safe low pressure pipeline has a long history of success, safety, reliability and economy.

      With present day sensors and the value of the commodity, it is ludicrous to fear a pipeline leak that would not be (1) detected, (2) pumping stopped, (3) leak located and (4) leak fixed LONG before sufficient product were lost in a manner that would allow pollution of "a major aquifer". THINK, people! They're not going to run the pipeline THROUGH the aquifer!

      All refineries are not the same. Some are rather basic, and can only process "light, sweet crude" as from Saudi or Libyan sources into a relative few products. Others can take the thick sludge and progressively break it down into the many products that American consumers and industry uses so much of. It's not up to the "not in my back yard" people to determine where our oil companies get the oil they process or what they do with it until or unless there are unwarranted shortages. That decision is up to company management and/or shareholders. They owe no one answers.

      Congressional debate and Presidential support should be based on a VERY few pertinent questions:

      1. Is it good for both America and Canada ("win-win")?

      2. Is this source competitive in price with alternatives INCLUDING the cost of building and maintaining this (and related) pipelines.

      3. Is this source of sufficient size to be reliable for an extended period of production?

      4. If the oil is ultimately to be exported in one or more forms, will it be first refined in Texas?

      It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to understand that if this oil is being exported, domestic needs are being met with oil from a less expensive source. In such case, related profits are earned in America ("win") and the pipeline gives America a "back-up" supply should our "less expensive source" become depleted or that supply disrupted (as in the Strait of Hormuz).

      Message to environmentalists: You don't own America nor do you control American energy policy. If Canada wants to sell and America is a willing and solvent purchaser, why not buy from a neighbor with whom we share much in terms of history, cultural values and interests (as opposed to those who hate us and all that we represent)? There is a “cost” to the environment when a society substitutes fossil or other fuel for human or animal sweat to improve productivity, when then improves the quality of life of citizens. If you want to live in a cave or mud hut and forage for insects and eat tubers, be my guest. Just don’t try to shove such a life down MY throat.

      November 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  86. CO (R)

    Our modern conveniences don't care where the electrons come from and there are a number of alternative non-fossil fuels which can run vehicles. Even the Air Force is running on a biofuel blend that emits something like 80% less CO2. Going non-fossil does not mean going without energy. BTW, more GW of wind and solar came on line last year than nuclear and university researchers found that even solar is less expensive now than nuclear when permitting, construction, insurance, operations, and fuel costs are included.

    November 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  87. ABLLAVM

    It absolutely amazes me that ANYONE could possibly support this pipeline being built. How long do you think we should be dependent on oil? IT IS DESTROYING OUR WORLD. Why can't you see that investing in solar and wind power will also create jobs, and re-establish America as a global technological leader. Wake up America. Do what you can to go green. Our children are depending on it.

    November 5, 2011 at 11:08 pm |